A Primer on Consciousness and the Brain For those of you who follow this blog, here’s a primer that covers in just ten pages many of the novel ideas that have been presented over the years in this blog, Consciousness … Continue reading Are animals conscious?
Scientists Are Totally Rethinking Animal Cognition A red structure with cages on its roof rises three stories above the labyrinth of neon-lit stalls and narrow alleyways, its top floor emblazoned with two words: birds hospital. On a hot day last … Continue reading Are animals conscious?
Your Brain Is Neither Computer Nor CEO Through the lens of popular neuroscience (and even some not-so-popular neuroscience), brains have become abstract and hypercomplex entities—mystical machines, rather than down-to-earth organs composed of flesh and blood. John von Neumann’s brain-as-computer metaphor, … Continue reading Mystical machines
The Upside of Envy It might seem petty of me, but for some time now, I have been bellyaching about the graybeards in black tights — those sixty- and seventysomething fitness fanatics crowing about the umpteen miles they log on … Continue reading Is self-awareness useless?
Human nature matters A strange thing is happening in modern philosophy: many philosophers don’t seem to believe that there is such a thing as human nature. What makes this strange is that, not only does the new attitude run counter … Continue reading What makes humans tick
No, You’re Not Left-Brained or Right-Brained At the fictional Hogwarts school for witchcraft and wizardry in the Harry Potter series, students are sorted into different school houses by a magic hat based on their personalities. Similarly, in elementary school, a … Continue reading We are all brain-ambidextrous
Here’s How to Get to Conscious Machines, Neuroscientists Say Unlike the director leads you to believe, the protagonist of Ex Machina, Andrew Garland’s 2015 masterpiece, isn’t Caleb, a young programmer tasked with evaluating machine consciousness. Rather, it’s his target Ava, … Continue reading The verge of consciousness